by Pat Goss
No garage is complete without air. There’s very little that you can do around an automobile without some form of air supply. Well, one of the easiest ways to do that is with a small portable compressor, such as we have here. Now these are available in gas or electric power, and they can be taken anyplace that you want, and set them up and you have air instantly.
The only problem here is if you’re going to use something like a heavy duty air tool, a sander or a grinder or maybe even a spray gun, these things consume large amounts of air, and this just can’t supply enough to keep up the pace. That means that you’re going to have to have a bigger compressor, and the way you determine how big is you take the cubic feet per minute that your air tools use, you total that up, and add a little bit to it for a reserve, and you buy an air compressor that will produce that many cubic feet per minute.
Okay, now you’ve got your compressor, but you have to get the air to where you’re going to be using it. Well, Garage Pak has a really slick arrangement here. The blue aluminum tubing is designed in such a manner that the various fittings that go with it, well, you simply cut the tubing to size and slide it together. Now you’ve got a permanently installed, completely air-tight seal. If you want to change it, you simply turn the fitting counterclockwise. You can take it apart, tighten it back up, whatever you want to do. You can change the configuration.
Now they have all kinds of fittings, but one of the neatest ones is right here. This is where you plug in. This is a coupling. You’ll notice there’s a 1 and a 2. Well, in reality what you do is turn it to 1 first, and that releases the air pressure, 2 releases the hose. It’s just that easy. Now, what you’re trying to avoid is the air hose that goes flying all over the place when you disconnect it. Now, that can be dangerous, and these fittings do away with it.
And speaking of air hoses and the like, don’t forget that you need a pressure regulator to regulate the pressure for certain jobs that you might be doing. You have to have a water separator to get the water out of the lines. And if you’re going to be using conventional air tools, you probably want an oiler to oil the lines. That way your air tools will last a lot longer.
Speaking about the lines, well, you have different types. You have the coiled plastic, you have the conventional plastic, like so. You have rubber and hose reels and so on. All of these things have advantages and disadvantages. You weigh the advantages and the one that suits your needs best, and you’ll have a great air supply in your garage.
If you have a question or comment, write to me. The address is MotorWeek, Owings Mills, MD, 21117.
For more information on compressed air piping for your garage, visit www.garage-pak.com